August 7, 2020

Local K-12 Educators Look at Ways to Start the School Year as COVID-19 Looms

By Aaricka Washington

Put on your thinking cap

Every summer, Geoffrey Carlisle plans hands­-on lessons for his newest class of eighth-grade emerging scientists. Usually, the KIPP Austin College Prep teacher plans lessons where his students stand in a circle – to analyze and manipulate 3D fabric models or to learn about gravity while handling bowling balls and marbles. They stand close to each other, discussing what they’re learning.

This summer, planning for such interactive, kinesthetic science lessons in the new school year is nearly impossible. As a pandemic makes the safest places to be those that are inside and isolated from those we’re close to, Carlisle explained, “What I’m having to do now is think about how I can give my kids some of those same experiences that are really valuable, but without actually being there personally.”

He also has to think about how to build relationships with kids, trying to figure out who they are and what they care about. He’s always excited about giving his students the space, vocabulary, and framework for having those discussions about what’s important. To help students who are having a rough time this year, Carlisle plans to sit there with them through the screen, listen to them one-on-one, and figure out what they need.  Click here to read the full story.